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Picking a Perfect Autism Birthday Party Place January 6, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, humor, Parenting, special needs.
Tags: , , , ,

How’s that for a tall order?

Is there even such a possible thing as the perfect place for an autistic child’s birthday party? Well, we’ve got to try, right?

We’re about 2 months out from ‘C’s 7th birthday. Seven! “Holy crap” as my good friend would say.  Where did the time go? Wasn’t he just two, like, yesterday? No, he was just acting like two yesterday… In any event, it’s time to book something. But what?

As much as my screaming wallet wants one, the home party is out. First of all, we spend way too much time at home all year, so a party here would be no fun at all. Second, I’d have to clean. And I hate that. Really. And most importantly, while ‘C’ would love to go to a friend’s house and play nicely with their toys, I think he’d rip the face off have a problem with his friends playing with his stuff. He’s not that strong of a sharer just yet.

We’ve had great success with indoor swimming parties. Like three in a row for birthdays 3, 4, and 5. Yep, nothing says FUN better than a bitter winter day and wet heads and slippery bodies and strep and swim diapers. Plus my friends really love it when they have to put on their swimsuits right after Christmas and go in the pool with their kids. The alternative is staying behind on the pool deck melting in your wool sweater in a 90 degree room.

Last year’s bowling party went well. Sorta. The kids were great at sitting and waiting their turns. Sorta. They really flung  rolled the ball down the next person’s  their lane. Sometimes. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted the bowling alley pizza. Yet, ‘C’ really loved that party. And any party will have me bringing ‘C’s food and cake anyway. 

Do I venture into another venue? Stick with the tried and true?

Anyone have any suggestions? What were the best and worst parties you’ve hosted or gone to?



1. therocchronicles - January 6, 2009

I don’t really have any birthday party tips other than the Roc had fun at a party a few weeks ago that was at a “gymboree” type place. We have family parties because his b-day is in the summer–so I get off easy there!

I just read your comment over on What We Need about schools and I want to know where you live?! The different choices you have sound like a lot more than what we have here! My husband and I both want to move but cannot agree to where and it’s hard to find out about school districts in other states.

hope you come up with a good party idea!

hopeauthority - January 6, 2009

Hey therocchronicles: I’m so jealous that you have summer birthdays! I wish I could do something outside at home since ‘C’ loves to swim. (I have 2 winter birthdays. Argh.) ‘C’ does like gymboree-type activities, so thanks for the idea.

I live on Long Island, in Suffolk County, New York. The EI services through the county were generous back when ‘C’ needed them. I know a lot about several of the school districts here (good and bad) if you need particulars. If you choose the right school district, you can get great services, but the reason we have them is because we pay very high taxes in general on Long Island, so if you’re planning on buying instead of renting, you should know that off the bat. Also, there are many districts that are good as far as general education, but stingy for special ed services and you’d want to steer clear of them. I have never complained about the taxes because…because of autism…I am one of the people benefitting from it. Feel free to email me if you want more info!

2. pixiemama - January 6, 2009

Do you have one of those places full of inflatables? One just opened here. I don’t have enough hands to take ALL of my kids there, but I bet it would be a GREAT place for a b-day party.

hopeauthority - January 6, 2009

Hey PixieMama: We have a Pump it Up place like that that we’ve been to twice. The first time was the “Birthday party from Hell” in December where another kid tried to throw ‘C’ down the stairs of one of the huge inflatable slides…it was such a nightmare that I had to blog about it just to let off steam back on Dec 4th…but you weren’t reading me back then. I just re-read that post and was able to laugh about all the craziness now. And we did go back.

The second trip was better (with a small group of his peers), but for some reason ‘C’ has anxiety over getting started on those things and he wastes about 30 minutes each time we’ve gone, just working up his nerve to start playing on them. So, as much as I love the place, I wouldn’t want him sitting on the sidelines for so much time at his OWN party. But they are great places for parties and most of the special needs kids I’ve seen there (except my nervous guy, at first…and the meanie who tried to maul him) really do love it! Thanks!

By the way, I bet you could handle your 4 kids there better than I handle my two!

3. HeatherPride - January 6, 2009

Well, Logan turned 4 on his last birthday and this was the first year we attempted any sort of kid event. We had always just done the family birthdays in the past. We got together with 3 other kids (I had to start small, you know) and went to one of those indoor bouncy places. It was great. Well, until the dude in the monkey suit started walking around. Then Logan wanted to go home. But until then, it was great.

4. Karen - January 6, 2009

Great Website!

My son is turning seven tomorrow and I have never tired the full-out kid parties. He doesn’t really have any friends. The kids he does know are in his special ed classroom and he hasn’t even return from Christmas break yet. Autism is an adventure when it comes to parties!
Love everyone else’s ideas though!

Karen (Autism Mom)

hopeauthority - January 6, 2009

Thanks Karen. And Happy Birthday to your son!!
My son…and many other kids with autism…are likely in the same boat as your son when it comes to “friends” basically being the kids from his class. Sometimes I wonder if these “friendships” will really blossom into a version that’s more like what a typical friendship is like. I hope so. And its nice that they are all on the same learning curve when it comes to learning how to be friends. It just stinks that they have to LEARN how to be friends…that it doesn’t just happen.

In November I posted about the best birthday party ever. It was one of his classmates’ party at the home of another classmate. It was all kids from the class and it was really just the first playdate ever. It was great! Even thought the kids didn’t really play WITH each other, they played nicely next to each other…and the moms got to talk in peace and got to know each other a little better. I highly recommend it as an alternative to a full-out party, too.

5. Hugh - January 7, 2009


I followed the trail through a few Autism blogs and ended up here.

I am glad I did. That post was very informative and entertaining.

My 14 year old son was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 5 – just after his mother divorced me. I made the discovery by looking at his behaviour in comparison to other kids his age.

It’s been a long journey of organizing interventions for him, and supporting him as best I can.

I am glad that you managed to have kids after reading your post on another blog. I am very glad for them that someone such as you, with such rich communication skills, is in their life.

I wish you and your family the best always.

hopeauthority - January 7, 2009

Hi Hugh.
So glad you made your way over here. Thanks for the sweet things you said too.

And a big pat on the back for you for recognizing… and acting upon… your son’s signs way before there was the public awareness we have today. That took a lot of courage and takes its toll on a marriage, too.

Come by again whenever you need a laugh. There’s usually something crazy going on here!

6. rhemashope - January 7, 2009

I was going to say Pump It Up, but that’s already been covered. =}
Whatever you decide, I hope it’s a blast for C!

7. Adonya Wong - January 8, 2009

How ’bout an African Safari or a trip to the ancient pyramids? Hmmm, not in the budget, eh? j/k

On a slightly serious note, I have heard that zoo parties are all the rave these days. Not sure if ‘C’ likes the zoo or not. Oh, wait. It’ll probably still be cold in your next of the woods that time of year, so maybe a zoo party is out?

My son turns 8 in March, and I think planning a shindig may actually be easy for him this year. He’s obsessed (and I use the word loosely) with trains, so maybe I’ll think of something that revolves around them. We’ll see.

Speaking of obsessions, does ‘C’ have any that you can use as a party theme? 😉

Wishing you luck with this one, my friend!


Adonya Wong
Author | Autism Blogger

hopeauthority - January 8, 2009

Let’s see….How can I make a party revolve around ‘C’s latest obsessions?

I’ve got it!

I’ll bake 4 different GF/CF/SF etc cakes that no one will even TRY much less EAT. Have all the kids over to the house where each will be given their own bag of precisely 237 small figures, cars, and assorted kiddie crapola…and their own room in which to set up their “concert” of all 237 pieces. There will be prizes given for the kid who completes the task the fastest, the one whose concert covers the most square footage (bonus points for blocking access to the bathroom), and the one quick and bold enough to steal pieces from a peer’s concert or to incorporate kitchen utensils…unnoticed.

Of course, 100 bonus points will be awarded to each kid who blurts out an obscenity…so long as it is used properly and in context. Hey, language is language.

What? You think I’m stacking the deck in ‘C’s favor? So what if he had an all-time high, THREE obscenity morning today. He’s got “son of a bitch” down cold…Yikes!

Now if I could just figure out where the F#@K he’s gettin this stuff….LOL

8. hope4mygirl - January 8, 2009

Yes, HOLY CRAP they are turning seven, and HOLY CRAP we have to find an appropriate place to hold their birthday party!!! Mine is turning 7 in March as well…..I need a place that will hold her interest longer than 5 minutes!!!!

9. hope4mygirl - January 9, 2009

I LOVE your party idea! WE will be there and WE will try ALL FOUR of your cakes! And I am sure “J” will love to set up a concert….heck….she will earn your 100 bonus points in the first 10 minutes she’s there!!!! LOLOL

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